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Beautiful loading and firing and ‘the Rebel yell.’

My men were behaving beautifully, loading and firing as deliberately as if on a drill, but the ‘old rebel yell’ they were putting up in their intense excitement.

Men never battled in a nobler cause in all the ‘tide of time.’ [103] As we continue to grow older in years and reminiscences, the memory of the past becomes dearer and more sacred.

I should say the regiment carried in about 114 men, and, although they were not in action very long, perhaps some three or four hours, they suffered a loss of 58 per cent. Their names ought to be on record somewhere. ‘Marse Robert’ had no braver or more devoted band of gallant men than they who composed the Fifteenth Virginia Infantry. Its old commander often dwells in fondest memory on the dear ‘old boys,’ and their many deeds of true heroism in those memorable days of trial and suffering. Many times in the past two-score years his heart has melted and his eyes dimmed with kindly tears in sad and tender recollection, and now he most earnestly and lovingly wishes he had the capacity to portray for their posterity their patriotic devotion to duty, and the suffering and sacrifices they endured to uphold a cause they knew to be right. Ah! surely it was right, time has only the more firmly grounded us in our convictions; nothing has occurred in the past two-score years in anyway calculated to change our views and opinions about our ‘Lost Cause’ with every idea and principle it involved and embraced, and for which we contended and suffered; it ever remains with us a sweet and sacred memory. It is true to-day we are all American citizens, living under one flag, and giving allegiance to one government; but we are still very human, and while we may forgive many wrongs and cruel things, we can never forget the old, old days, for then it was we willingly, bravely, risked our all in a common cause in the hopeful lusty days of our youth. It will never enter our minds and hearts in our mature years that our cause was anything but right and just; and so we will continue to believe as our shadows lengthen in the sunset of life ere we join our dear old comrades who have gone hence.

So shall a light that cannot fade
     Beam on us from on high,
And angel voices say to us
     These things can never die.

Before closing my random and reminiscent sketch, I wish to say


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